MLS Match Preview: Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC
MONTRÉAL IMPACT vs TORONTO FC
STADE OLYMPIQUE, Montréal, Qué.
March 16, 2013 (WEEK 3, MLS Game #20)
4 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS)
A bitter Canadian rivalry livens up MLS Rivalry Week as the Montréal Impact make their 2013 home debut, taking on Toronto FC at Olympic Stadium. The Impact come home after two wins in their two-game Pacific Northwest tour to start the season, coming off a 2-1 win at Portland. Toronto FC put an end to their long league winless run in their home opener last weekend, a 2-1 victory against Sporting Kansas City.
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. SAR (bench): Corey Parker; JAR (opposite): Anthony Vasoli; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau
MLS Career: 147 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 48; pens: 53
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Impact 1 win, 2 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 1
AT MONTREAL (2 meetings): Impact 1 win, 2 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 7/3: Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact, 7 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS); 10/26: Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact, 4 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS)
LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/7: MTL 2, TOR 1 (Ubiparipovic 18; Wenger 81 – Koevermans 88)
6/27: MTL 0, TOR 3 (Frings 52; Johnson 72; Koevermans 78)
10/20: TOR 0, MTL 0
- The teams met five times in Montréal’s first MLS season. In league play, the teams split the two matches in Québec; they played to a scoreless draw in the lone meeting at BMO Field.
- Toronto FC also took the Canadian Championship semifinal meeting 2-0 on aggregate, winning the second leg at home by that score.
- When Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver all won last weekend, it was the first time in MLS history the three Canadian clubs had all won on the same day.
- Coaches record: Ryan Nelsen vs. MTL: first game … Marco Schallibaum vs. TOR: first game
The Montréal Impact won for the second time in as many matches on their season-opening Pacific Northwest trip, defeating the Portland Timbers 2-1 on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field.
- The Impact took the lead on the opening half-hour. Hassoun Camara tallied from a spectacular overhead kick after Portland had failed to clear their lines following a Montreal set piece.
- The visitors then doubled their lead 30 minutes later. Patrice Bernier got loose in midfield before slotting substitute Andres Romero through. Romero pulled it back to Felipe at the edge of the six-yard box, and the Brazilian made no mistake in beating Ricketts to the near post.
- The Timbers responded with a fury, aiming for their second comeback in two weeks. They got a breakthrough in the 80th minute when forward Ryan Johnson got goalside of Camara, heading in from close range, but could get no closer.
- Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum made one change to the team that defeated Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 at CenturyLink Field. Sanna Nyassi came into a wide midfield role in place of Justin Mapp.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-1-4-1): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Jeb Brovsky - Patrice Bernier - Andrea Pisanu (Andres Romero 59), Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins (Collen Warner 87), Sanna Nyassi - Marco Di Vaio (Andrew Wenger 75).
WATCH: Montreal Impact pick up road win over the Portland Timbers
- The Impact have already matched their road record from their inaugural MLS season, with two wins from their season-opening tour of the Pacific Northwest. A year ago, the Impact won just two games on their travels, taking just nine points total from their 17 away matches.
- “We didn’t come in here and steal the three points tonight. We were solid defensively and had a lot of help from our midfield. It was a difficult and tight game, but we responded well,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum.
- “We had to know how to win on the road,” said assistant coach Mauro Biello. “It was our undoing last season, and we worked a lot on preparing well in order to win away from home, and that's what we did. We defended well and created chances. They had much more of the ball, but in the end, we created three or four clear-cut chances.”
- It took 170 minutes before the Impact conceded their first goal of the new campaign. They had four longer shutout streaks in their opening season.
- "We were solid defensively. We didn’t give up a ton of really good chances and we had quite a few really good chances ourselves,” said midfielder Davy Arnaud. “They had a lot of the ball and they pushed the game, similar to Seattle, but I thought defensively as a group again, we were very solid.”
- The Impact are just the second team in MLS history from the Eastern Conference to win on their first two trips to the Pacific Time Zone in a season. The first came all the way back in the league’s inaugural season of 1996 when the New England Revolution won at LA and San Jose on July 4 and July 6.
- “I know it’s not easy to play in these two places, but I think we have the team that’s capable of going on the road and getting results; six points is huge,” said Arnaud. “It’s a huge achievement for us on the road. We want to be good defensively, and our starting point is how we play defensively.”
- The only change in the Impact lineup was caused when Justin Mapp was forced to come off in the season opener at halftime with a calf knock, and was replaced in the team by Sanna Nyassi.
- Hassoun Camara scored his second MLS goal, his first coming last June 23 vs. Houston. “Getting off to a good start is always great,” Camara said. “My previous two years with the Impact, I never got to fully prepare for a new season. I always had some physical problem early on.”
Toronto FC put an end to a long winless run and gave Ryan Nelsen his first win as head coach, defeating Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
- Toronto FC took the lead after just three minutes. Matt Besler's pass to fellow defender Aurélien Collin was intercepted by Robert Earnshaw, and he clinically finished past helpless SKC 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen.
- The home side doubled their lead shortly thereafter. SKC midfielder Paulo Nagamura tripped up newly acquired Toronto midfielder John Bostock in the box, and Earnshaw stepped up and used a cool stutter-step to catch Nielsen wrong-footed from the penalty spot in the 21st minute.
- Sporting pulled a goal back in the 77th minute when halftime substitute C.J. Sapong flicked a long free kick from goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen on to Claudio Bieler, who split the TFC defense and blasted the ball past Toronto 'keeper Joe Bendik for his second goal in as many games.
- TFC boss Ryan Nelsen made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place to start the season. John Bostock made his MLS debut, coming into the midfield in place of Kyle Bekker.
- TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Richard Eckersley, Darren O'Dea, Danny Califf, Ashtone Morgan - John Bostock (Darel Russell 85), Jeremy Hall, Terry Dunfield (Jonathan Osorio 82), Reggie Lambe - Hogan Ephraim (Kyle Bekker 87), Robert Earnshaw.
WATCH: Toronto FC upset Sporting Kansas City
- Toronto FC won for the first time in a league game since last July 28, ending their winless streak at 15 games, tied for the second-longest in MLS history.
- “We’re still a long way away from where we want to be. I’m so pleased with the win and I really don’t care about any records. More importantly it is a step forward,” TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said. “I think there was improvement in Vancouver [last week] and there was improvement today. We’ve got to take baby steps in a way to become a very good team.”
- Robert Earnshaw scored his first two goals of his MLS career and the first two for TFC this season.
- “We talked about culture change and the first step in that process is not to lose and I think we’ve shown through preseason and especially tonight that we took a step in the right direction,” said defender Danny Califf. “The quality of the group and the personalities of the group are such that we just need a few of these and build up the confidence and feel that we can go anywhere and win.”
- After being signed officially just the day before, John Bostock made his MLS debut in a wide right role and won the penalty that led to Toronto FC’s second goal.
- “You saw his feet when he earned the penalty," Nelsen said. "He draws players to him and he is very good technically. I think he excites the crowd as well. He’s got a bit of trickery to him and there is always an end product to it, be it a foul or a shot or something. I think he probably needs a few more games. He was obviously fatigued a bit there. All of these guys – him, Hogan [Ephraim], Rob will get better once they adjust to the league and get their legs under them.”
- For the first time since coming to the league last season, Darren O’Dea was part of a winning side in a league game with TFC. The team did not win in any of his 10 MLS appearances last season.
- “From Day 1, since the new manager has come in, there has been a certain type of way that he wants to play and we are building to that every day and we are improving,” O’Dea said. It is the gaffer, but also the players that he has brought in as well. Players like Danny Califf at the back and Robert [Earnshaw] up front. It’s a bit of experience and a bit of mental toughness and we probably lacked that last year.”